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Quality, genetics work together

by Wyoming Livestock Roundup

The U.S. beef industry is continually working toward higher-quality cattle, but a recent segment from Certified Angus Beef’s Angus VNR, Allan Sents of McPherson County Feeders noted that an increased genetic focus will be required as markets continue to change.

“As we go forward, especially in times of tight margins and the risks that we have in the market place, anything that can be done genetically to narrow that down and to focus on some of the premiums that are possible that way I think gives the cow/calf producer especially a great advantage, perhaps as much as anyone in the industry to take advantage and to be rewarded for the effort that they can put into improving genetics that way,” Sents said.

He noted that cow/calf producers have been responsible for the improvement in quality of the past several years as a result of smart genetic selection.

Sents explained, “Genetics is a huge factor, and we know that there is great variation, even within breeds in terms of genetic potential of the cattle. It is interesting and encouraging to see what progress can be made as people focus on quality.”

It is equally important, he added, to not lose track of cutability and growth in production.

As a smaller feedyard in Marquette, Kans., Sents says they are able to focus on harnessing the genetic potential of the cattle. 

“We can focus more on individual sorting, attention to customers, knowing their history and knowing what their cattle are capable of,” he explains. “We do actively sort cattle to try and maximize their potential and harvest them before they have been around too long.”

But despite the benefits they have seen recently, Sents noted that they are still working to make adjustments and improve, always seeking to optimize the potential of cattle.

He commented, “The biggest adjustment I think we could make from a management standpoint is being aware of the potential of the cattle and then using our sorting and then evaluating which particular grid might be best to market the cattle and get the best premium we can for our customer that way.”

Saige Albert, managing editor of the Wyoming Livestock Roundup, compiled this article from a recent segment of Angus VNR. Watch the full segment on YouTube or by visiting or

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